The Powers of Flowers

Making a case for the legalization of marijuana.


Kayla Canto, Contributing Writer

How much marijuana do you think you need to ingest before it kills you?

Now, how much alcohol do you think you need to drink before it kills you?

You would have to ingest 15,000 pounds of marijuana in 15 minutes for it to kill you, which is physically impossible.  For someone my size and weight, six drinks is all it would take to get alcohol poisoning and increase my chances of an alcohol-related death.

I think it’s time we stop worrying about a couple of teenagers smoking pot and start worrying about the things and people that can actually kill us.

Legalizing marijuana would make users all across America less paranoid and would have many great benefits for the economy and environment.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there is no tree or plant species capable of creating as much paper as hemp can per acre. Think of all the trees and nature preserves we could be saving.  Less toxic chemicals are used to make paper from hemp than are used to make paper from trees, leading to less pollution.

The seeds of hemp can even be used as food. They contain a high source of nutritious oil protein that can be consumed by both humans and animals. Hemp oil can also be used to create a number of things. It can be used to make highly nutritious tofu, butter, cheese, salad oils and other foods.

Aside from food, hemp is also used to make paint, varnish, ink, lubricating oils and plastics. The list of things that hemp and its oil can be used for goes on and on.

Now that we’re all aware of the environmental benefits of marijuana, let’s take a look at what it can do for our economy. The use of recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado in January of 2014. Since then, they have saved $60 million in combined savings and tax revenue.

New Jersey police agencies spend about $143 million per year to enforce the state’s marijuana laws, and nine out of 10 arrests targeted marijuana users rather than dealers. Not only would legalization save us that much money, but it would give police more time to focus on apprehending other criminals.

By 2020, the marijuana industry is expected to create more than a quarter of a million jobs. According to Forbes, “The legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 17 percent. Medical marijuana sales are projected to grow from $4.7 billion in 2016 to $13.3 billion in 2020.”

Before you go on a rant about how terrible marijuana is, take a look at some of the facts above that prove marijuana is harmless and has endless amounts of benefits for our bodies, economy and environment.

I’m not saying that legalizing it across the world would create world peace, but it sure would be a start.